Actinolite is affordable in sizes ranging from 1 to 20 grams and the cost per gram is between $1.00 to $10.00 per gram. The first time you see this material will be in crystal form and the Actinolite will be the green inclusions. Most of the faceted material is clear Quartz with Actinolite crystals for inclusions.
It is fairly common to see cabochons, tumbled material, and carvings as well.
When inspecting the crystals or stones you will notice a medium-green to dark-green color caused by needle-like inclusions. Those inclusions are Actinolite.
The main sources of Actinolite come from Vermont, Madagascar, and Tanzania.
How to determine value and cost
When determining the value of the gemstone you will be using GIA guidelines which means color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. You’ll want to look at each one of these individually and then circle back when finished to evaluate the stone as a whole.
Color is going to be the most important factor when determining the value of gemstones. Clarity and carat weight are tied for the second most important factor.
Before you go any further you need to ensure you have identified Actinolite correctly.
Color – The more intense the color the more valuable the stone is. When dealing with warm colors, think of red and orange, you’ll want to determine if there are brown undertones. If you can’t see brown undertones then the color should be very vibrant. The more vibrant and saturated the color the more expensive the gemstone. If the gemstone has a unique “neon-like glow” then it will demand the highest price per carat.
With Actinolite you really don’t judge color too much because it will be an inclusion. You want to be able to see through the Quartz but you don’t want the inclusions to be too thinned out either.
Clarity – Buyers, and collectors prefer stones with no internal inclusions visible to the eye. Aragonite can be found with visible inclusions all the way to flawless. To determine the clarity ranking you’ll need at a minimum a 10x loop and a higher-powered microscope to confirm internally flawless and flawless designations.
If you can visibly see the inclusion while holding the gemstone then the highest designation would be SI1 and if the inclusion detracts from the overall beauty of the stone then the clarity designation would be I1 – I3.
Clarity designations – FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, I3
Carat – Actinolite can be found in sizes ranging from below 1 carat to above 10 carats when it is faceted. If you’re dealing with Quartz crystals then you’ll be using grams instead of carats.
More than likely the mineral dealers will sell the crystals by the piece and not by actual weight.
Cut – It is sad to say but cut has the least impact on value and cost unless it affects the stone in an extreme way. For example, when you look at the stone you would be able to see through it which means light is not being reflected back to the eye. This is called a window in the stone and it would have to be quite large to impact the price. The other extreme would occur when you look at a stone and see a rough circle or oval shape inside the stone. This occurs when the stone is very shallow and it’s reflecting the rough girdle inside the stone. Note: the girdle is the edge/side of the stone where the pavilion and crown meet.
Actinolite Valuations and Pricing
Small to Medium Faceted Actinolite = $10.00- $35.00 price per carat
- Can be found at most rock and mineral shows
- It is not abundant nor rare.
Cat’s Eye Actinolite = $95.00 – $145.00 price per cart
- Somewhat rare
- Only found a gem shows
Actinolite Specimens = $5.00 – $125.00
- Range in size
- Sold by the gram or by the piece
- Rockhounds like these specimens because they’re really cool to look at and affordable
How valuable is Actinolite?
Actinolite has never brought a higher dollar per carat or per crystal because the demand for Quartz crystals with inclusions just isn’t there. Collectors and gemstone enthusiasts will collect and cut Actinolite but the mass appeal for this stone will always be limited.
Values of Actinolite will not increase over time
Each year I do research on market prices for Actinolite and prices for small to mid-sized crystals and stones are fairly constant. If I was looking to add Actinolite to my collection then I would try to source crystals with clean edges and points. You’ll also want to have a nice density of Actinolite inside the crystal as well.
If you’re not sure how to value a gemstone then you should consider a gemstone appraisal. Individuals acquiring gemstones through inheritance, estate sales, and auctions typically have the gemstone appraised to determine the value and to ensure the gem is what they think it is.